A proposed indoor Universal Studios theme park in Moscow has moved a step closer to reality, after local officials approved its construction.
Pravda reports that the Moscow Construction and Investment Committee has given the go-ahead for the park, which will be part of a larger complex being developed by Russian property group BIN. The group has previously stated an aim to begin construction work in 2014, although financing for the estimated $2.8 billion budget for the project is yet to be finalised.
If the plans are implemented, the park will become the first Universal Studios theme park in Europe, by virtue of its location in Western Russia. It will cover 37 acres, and will be housed indoors to protect it from Moscow's harsh winter climate. Included alongside the theme park will be a Universal Studios water park and a CityWalk nighttime entertainment district similar to those in Hollywood and Orlando.
The broader complex will also host a selection of three and four-star hotels, a winter garden, a conference hall, a music theatre and ofice space. Parking will be provided for up to 10,000 cars.
Universal's overseas projects have met with mixed success in recent years. Universal Studios Japan has proven to be a lasting success, while Universal Studios Singapore opened in 2010. However, plans for Universal Studios Korea and Universal Studios Dubai have been stalled by complex negotiations and funding issues for a number of years.